Siemens Gamesa to install first wind-heat storage system
Siemens Gamesa is to install the first “Future Energy System – FES” on the large scale. It is an innovative wind–heat storage technology that provides energy from hot stones. Installation work will begin in the next few days at an aluminum smelter in Hamburg, Germany. This is a great milestone since the development of storage solutions for energy produced with renewables is a key technology in the energy transition context, as it will allow a greater penetration of these generation sources. This achievement by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is the result of the company´s three-year period conducting R & D activities in a test unit in the German city of Hamburg to convert wind power output to heat and then store the surplus energy in a form of “filling” in stones. Now the company is turning its findings into a real-scale project and in the next few days will install the first large-scale “Future Energy System – FES” at the aluminum smelting company Trimet, also in Hamburg, the company said in a statement. The facility, which is expected to start operating in the spring, will have approximately 1,000 tons of rock “fill” that will be capable of providing 30 MWh of electric energy at temperatures of 600 degrees Celsius. The system works with a steam turbine that turns heat back into electricity. According to the company that has chosen the local company Hamburg Energie GmbH as a partner-, if a wind turbine with a power of 1.5 megawatts produces energy 24 hours, the system can –over that same period – supply energy equivalent to the consumption of 1,500 German average homes or enough to charge the batteries of approximately 50 electric cars.In times of sunny weather and high winds, renewable energies are available in large quantities, and often the supply exceeds the network capabilities. Conversely, there are seasons of little wind and little sunshine where they do not generate enough energy. That is why storage systems can help to act as a buffer between periods of overload and those of weak production with renewables. The major barrier was so far that most storage technologies offered limited capabilities or were not cost competitive. Siemens Gamesa´s new solution, a project supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, offers a highly economic approach in this regard, the company says.
STORING GREEN ENERGY IN 600 °C HOT STONES
If we want to take action on our vision of being a fossil-free Europe, energy storage is a simple necessity. The idea is to heat a well-insulated bed of stones to 600 °C with air using low-cost electricity. The limit on how much non-controllable, renewable energy the current Danish energy network can manage is about to be reached. Over the next year, SEAS-NVE will, in collaboration with DTU Energy, Aarhus University Geoscience, the Danish Energy Association, Energinet.dk and Rockwool, try to come up with an innovative solution to the problem by developing a high-temperature thermal storage solution, in which the energy is stored in rock heated up to 600 degrees with air from an electric fan heater, powered by surplus electricity from wind turbines. After a few days, when the energy is again required, the heat is fed through a generator which generates electricity, and the residual heat is conducted to district heating. The heat can be stored for up to a week without significant energy loss and the storage can be discharged as either electricity and/or heat. A full-scale energy storage expect to achieve 50% efficiency on the electricity and 95% of the other 50% on heating. The ambition is to implement the solution on a large scale throughout Denmark at competitive prices, while addressing the challenge of saving large amounts of energy in a cheap and environmentally friendly manner. In the first year of the pilot phase, the energy storage solution will be located at Risø DTU Campus. From 2019, it is planned to locate the storage solution in fields next to the Sorø Power Plant, during what we call the demonstration phase. It has not yet been planned where the "real", full scale storage shall be located, but it is expected to be in the Zealand region. The project is supported with DKK 6 million from the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP), which is a public subsidy scheme. The scheme supports new technologies in the energy sector, which can help to meet Denmark's objectives in regards to energy and climate. The small scale stage deals with four work packages: communication, market conditions, pilot and demonstration. Communication package deals with 3 segments: the public, schools and specialists by conferences and the web. This applies not only to specialists but also to the public. Pilot package consists of a pilot plant at DTU Risø Campus, where the construction and efficiency of the equipment will be tested as well as different stone materials. Market conditions package contains studies and simulation of the services the storage will offer. Elucidation of legal and fiscal conditions for operation is also included.
Key figures about the project
Period: 2016 - 2018
Funding year: 2016
Own financial contribution: 2,53 mio. DKK
Grant: 6,00 mio. DKK
Funding rate: 70%
Project budget: 8,54 mio. DKK